In a bid to save money, the Punjab government has decided to shut down the free WiFi service in public spaces for an indefinite period.
The decision was taken by the provincial government led by Chief Minister Usman Buzdar to save Rs190 million that the project was costing.
The WiFi service launched by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government in 2017 was available in several cities of Punjab, such as Lahore, Rawalpindi and Multan. The government had created at last 200 hotspots to provide free internet to the residents. It was also available at airports, railway stations, metro stations, colleges, and universities.
Chief Minister’s aide Firdous Ashiq Awan was reported as saying that the service has been shut down temporarily and it will be resumed soon. However, she didn’t give any specific date.
In 2019, the government had halted the free internet service due to a lack of funds. According to a report in Dawn, the service was stopped after the Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) failed to pay Rs150m to the Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL).